Wilkins Ice Shelf and Denial

What an extraordinary day for Planet Earth. Why, do you ask? Well a 415 square kilometre slab of the Wilkins ice shelf in Antarctica just broke off and is in the process degrading further. For those of you in the US, that is a piece 7 times larger than Manhattan Island! For those of us in Australia, it is larger than the size of Queensland’s Gold Coast! Scientists have linked this phenomena to the warming of the oceans around Antarctica. Further proof that we must act a lot faster than we are to combat climate change. It just goes to show that if more of the citizens in the developed nations of the world lived sustainably, and we help developing nations skip the old technology that got us in this crisis, and if industry and government began to act quicker, then we may have a chance of reducing the effects of all this melting and other catastrophic global events.

I can’t imagine going to visit Port Melbourne, St Kilda beach or any beach on Port Philip bay for that matter, and for as far as the eye can see would be sea levies keeping back the rising water and no lovely beaches. Talk about King Canute or what! I can just see our grandchildren now, quoting Dr Phil, “What were you thinking!”, in relation to the slowness to act about the issue. The ice shelf news made me sad, and has made me even more determined to continue my journey towards our sustainable lifestyle.

No sooner did I read that dreadful news, that I stumbled upon this article about the sceptic element of climate change. This brought me back to a question I was asked last night at my presentation. Someone asked me what I thought of Andrew Bolt, a journalist from the Herald Sun, sprewking on the radio that climate change was an urban myth and that the planet is not warming! Well, I am all for a balanced view of global media, however Mr. Bolt uses the argument that Professor Bob Carter (a well known climate change sceptic) states that the planet is in fact cooling. That is not a balanced view, when the majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is real, and a few sceptics say it is not! That is like most scientists saying that the earth is round (which it apparently is) and getting a Flat Earther to debate it with me!

Well, after doing a bit of research into these sceptics, (by googling “exxonmobil” “Robert M. Carter”), I found that Professor Bob Carter belongs to a group known as “Science and Public Policy Institue” which received funding from ExxonMobil. Many other other climate change sceptics and lobby groups are also funded by by this oil giant, whose best interest is to keep the debate about human caused climate change in the media headlines. After all, they sell the product (oil) that causes the majority of greenhouse gas emissions. Once again, trace the skeptics funding and sure enough, you will find a link to oil funding. Here is a snippet of a CBC Canada show called Denial Machine that discusses the subject of ExxonMobil’s campaign to negate the science of climate change. Make up your own mind.

I personally believe the sterling work of the IPCC, who have been working diligently to ascertain the impacts of human induced climate change, and have released their final report and summary for policy makers.

I will leave you with this quote, which sums up the debate as far as I am concerned;

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
– Upton Sinclair


  1. Adam says

    Gavin, at one point in time, most scientists thought the earth was the centre of the solar system, but that doesn’t make it right. I’m sure that for ever sceptic backed by an oil company, there is a support backed by research grants, green policitial funding or, pure profit. Live your life by what you think is right , and let the people trying to make a buck out of it fling the mud. The moment your pegged as one side or another, half your audience stops listening.

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